Friday, January 21, 2005
Shorts from the Selectmen, Jan. 11
• Bicentennial plans outlined. The Selectmen issued a proclamation making February 18, 2005 Carlisle Bicentennial Day. Anne Marie Brako presented plans for the bicentennial which will kick off with a Carlisle Middle School assembly in February and a play which runs the weekend of February 18, 19 and 20. Other events are planned for Old Home Day, and a dinner dance will conclude the bicentennial year in 2006. A bicentennial letterhead was distributed to the Selectmen, and designs for seals and a banner with 200 mosquitoes, all designed by David Freedman, were unveiled. Steps will be taken to have a proclamation read at the State House.
• Bicentennial no-drive zone? Brako hopes to implement a 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. voluntary no-traffic time on Sundays during the bicentennial year to encourage walking and biking. Townspeople will be asked to sign a pledge form. It is hoped events will be planned during those times. Several Selectmen questioned the plan, with Doug Stevenson suggesting that once a month would hold a higher chance of success, and Chair Tim Hult concerned that complacent walkers and bikers might be surprised by drivers who chose not to join the freeze. Brako pointed to the closing of Memorial Drive in Cambridge each Sunday during the summer, and suggested, "Give it a shot. If people don't want to do it, fine."
• College scholarships. The Selectmen were pleased to report to the Caroline Hill Scholarship Committee that funds in the accounts "far exceeded what we believed" at $242,822.79. Two other Carlisle scholarship funds hold smaller amounts at $11,075 for the Titus Account and $27,933 for the Lapham Account. Asked if awards should be raised, Sally Coulter of the scholarship committee noted, "It's been an eye opener, the level of need in this community." She said only about half the applicants receive scholarships, and awards are typically small. But she added, "Small amounts are extremely helpful." Al Powers of the Concord-Carlisle Scholarship Fund said his group can satisfy only 10% to 15% of the documented need." There's a huge gap, and that's only the students who applied." The Selectmen raised the level of awards from the three funds by 50% to $9,000.
• Quarterly billing. Financial Director Larry Barton proposed quarterly tax billing to reduce town borrowing. He noted it is supported by the FinCom, auditors, and the Town Administrator. "It makes sense for the community." Selectman Doug Stevenson believes "the town gains at the taxpayer's expense" as residents will lose some interest by paying taxes four times a year rather than two. A public hearing will be held at the next Selectmen's meeting.
© 2005 The